The speech perception abilities of deaf children with a single- or multi-channel cochlear implant are compared with those of deaf children who derive substantial benefit from conventional hearing aids. The children with hearing aids have unaided pure-tone thresholds ranging from 90- to 110-dB HL through at least 2000 Hz, and aided thresholds of 30- to 60-dB HL. The group data show that the speech perception scores of the subjects with hearing aids were significantly higher than those of the subjects with implants on a range of speech perception measures. Although a few subjects with implants achieved scores as high as those who used hearing aids, the majority did not. Even though the children with implants receive substantial benefit from their devices, they continue to have limited auditory perception abilities relative to their peers who derive benefit from conventional hearing aids. The data highlight the importance of establishing hearing aid benefit in potential candidates for implant.
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